Giving Yourself a Gold Star

ByJoanne Lockwood

Giving Yourself a Gold Star

Pam helps organisations by providing them with stress management techniques and works with their teams to help them build their own coping toolkits.

At the end of ‘live’ Conferences, Pam gives each attendee a gold star, as a reminder that they are a star – someone truly amazing, with the ‘r’ standing for, yes really. These sessions are designed to help people realise what they bring to the world, to identify and stop denying it, to celebrate it.

Published Published: 25.02.2021 Recorded Recorded: 07.01.2021 Episode Length Duration: 1:06:20 Downloads Downloads: 641

Research shows positive thinking and recognising our own strengths plays a huge part in our ability to thrive. We tend to focus on the negatives and get fixated on these. Using visual props or relating content to people’s emotions helps them remember positive changes they wish to make and stick with them. Even now with online Conferences, Pam gets her clients join in the sessions, take part in breathing exercises as once they see the positive impact of this, they are more likely to carry it on.

Before Pam begins working with organisations, she works closely with the management teams to ensure they have policies and strategies in place to make sure each employee can bring their whole self to work. Without this structure being in place at an organisation, her stress reduction sessions will only be teaching people how to tolerate an unsafe situation.

Pam has a book that outlines the 33 red flags that you are heading for burnout and what to do about it. One of the warning signs is constantly saying, ‘I’m fine’, especially if your loved ones are questioning you on this, and you are responding negatively to their concern. People who finally succumb are not weak people, they are people that have been too strong for too long. If you are checking in with someone, the question needs to be ‘how are you really?’ and organisations need a culture of trust for people to be secure enough to answer this honestly, and strategies to deal with whatever the answer may be. Often stress is unconscious, we are not aware of it, and this has been made more so during the current pandemic, so it is about understanding the warning signs and making sure we focus on what we need to stay healthy. Currently we are all coping with the same ‘thing’, even though we are experiencing it differently – so people are finding it easier to talk and be honest about how they are feeling.

The background hum of stress is triggered when we are on medium alert all of the time. It keeps us switched on constantly and stops us switching off to let our body do its maintenance. Pam has a ‘care model’, the a in care being acknowledge. If we try to acknowledge the positives in the day, however small the wins may be and write these down we are able to fall asleep easier, sleep better and wake more refreshened. Without this acknowledgement we can get stuck on things we can’t control and become stressed, often no longer paying attention to the things we can control. Pam advises to not underestimate the small things and the big difference they can have to your stress levels, often shifting the mood and your state, she asks you to look at your life through the eyes of someone who would love to have what you have, not about recognising your privilege and feeling bad about it. It is about learning to appreciate what you have.

Workplaces need to be proactive, letting colleagues know that they are not expected to perform at 100% during lockdown, whilst trying to home school, support family etc. They need to be aware that home responsibilities may be disproportionate for some people. For many people not being present in the office sparks concerns they may be made redundant or placed on furlough. With this concern many employees try to over perform, to show themselves as invaluable. The problem with functioning under this constant state of adrenaline and stress, is that it is addictive, so when you do stop it feels unnatural and makes you feel guilty, that you should always be busy. Pam advises introducing a structure to your day, habits for the morning and evening before and after work to allow you to switch off. We should try to set realistic targets for the day and celebrate achieving them, rather than trying to achieve too much and feeling a sense of failure.

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Joanne Lockwood Joanne Lockwood
SEE Change Happen

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Pam Burrows Pam Burrows
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SEE Change Happen: Transgender Awareness & Inclusion